The delights produced at Bartizan Bakery & Café encapsulate all kinds of baked wonders you’d discover in Europe but not necessarily what you’d normally expect in central Tokyo. Such artisanal treasures are still typically within the experimental phase here, proving hard to come by and even harder to authentically produce. With a refreshing approach to the styles of bread that Japan is most familiar with, the city’s newest addition to the baking scene possesses a certain zest that remains relatively untapped by even the most seasoned establishments in Tokyo’s cosmopolitan food scene.
Bartizan Bakery & Café officially opened its doors to the public on August 20, and has quickly become a point of interest. It’s located a mere stone’s throw away from JR Hamamatsucho Station’s South Exit and two minutes from Exit B4 at Daimon Station on the Toei Oedo Line. At first glance, the establishment’s modern white exterior appears far removed from the distinct Japanese-style buildings that surround it. Upon stepping inside the interior opens up into a wide, two-story layout. Adorned with copper pendant lights and tableware to match, muted earthy tones and a mirrored feature wall, the tasteful decor is a spectacle within itself, exerting an air of elegance and sophistication that’s not commonplace for such an establishment. The first floor features an open kitchen and spacious dining area, whereas the basement floor is a cozier space that’s suitable for parties or functions. The cafe area is open throughout the day and on into the evening. Stay past dark and you’ll witness the bakery transform into a stylish bar.
Bartizan’s cuisine bears a close resemblance to the quintessential European style from which it draws much of its inspiration, while simultaneously proving, through the incorporation of contemporary elements, to be within a league entirely of its own making. This is all a direct result of the culinary backgrounds and artisanal prowess of those behind the food. Masatsugu Suzuki, Bartizan’s resident chef, developed an interest in cooking during his early childhood before spending three years in France, where he formally trained in French cuisine and began gradually perfecting his craft. Similarly, Bartizan’s baker Kana Omiya’s passion for her craft formed at a young age, leading her to venture overseas to both Australia and Canada in her pursuit to acquire different baking methods to those widely taught in Japan. Using locally sourced produce, Omiya creates healthy alternatives to Japanese bread, which is typically sweeter and more processed.
Much like the bakery’s interior, Bartizan’s menu certainly speaks for itself: rustic simplicity. However, the menu’s real star of the show is the bread. The organic loaves of unrefined goodness are produced in house daily and boast qualities that Japanese bread has yet to familiarize itself with. We ordered a basket of all three famed slices of bread to try for ourselves: the signature, olive and rosemary and fig and walnut. These styles of bread — or “hybreads” as we coined them — contain carefully fused ingredients that complement each other, and are served with a side of silky homemade butter. We ordered several slices that were topped with an assortment of rich garnishes such as smoked salmon, cream cheese, nuts and figs. Our personal favorite was the olive and rosemary loaf which was a delicious combination of natural sweetness with a hint of savory from the olive halves that were speckled throughout. Bartizan’s bread can be enjoyed both in house or at home. You can pick up a grain loaf for ¥1,100 or a sourdough for ¥1,200.
In a nation where the mainstream side dish is strictly rice by tradition, Bartizan brings something new and appreciated to the table, proving the value and importance of such an establishment in Tokyo in the process.
BARTIZAN Bakery & Cafe
Weekdays 7:30am – 12am
Weekends and Holidays 11am – 10pm
1F/B1 Libport Hamamatsucho Bldg
2-5-3 Hamamatsucho, Minato-ku